China To Ban Names That Signal ‘ORPHAN’ Status

February 12, 2012 by staff 

China To Ban Names That Signal ‘ORPHAN’ Status, Institutions in China that care for orphans will no longer be allowed to name children in their care in ways that signal their parentless status, a government ministry said this week, according to a report in the state-controlled China Daily.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs plans to issue new regulations set of rules to prohibit orphanages from using naming conventions that make it easy for other Chinese speakers to guess that an individual is an orphan—leading to lifelong stigma.

The article explains that some institutions named children in their care for where they were abandoned. Others gave children the surname “Guo” or “Dang”— to indicate the child was in care of the “State” or “Party.”

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